I want you to watch a video, but I must warn you that it will be the most disturbing series of moving images you’ve ever seen. It comes from the Nevada state convention, and again I urge you to make sure all children are out of the room, and that a trusted partner is nearby with a cold cloth and—it may be necessary—reviving salts.
Take a moment, breathe deeply, and please only read on when you feel safe.
Thank you for your courage in continuing. What you saw in that video—and I’m sorry to be so blunt—was a human being throwing a chair in anger.
The issue is unimportant, but for those who want to play semantics, here you go: Sanders supporters claim that temporary rules were adopted by an indecisive “voice vote” to deny his representatives Democratic party status, and that these rules resulted in democracy being subverted as Sanders delegates were disenfranchised, giving Clinton extra delegates for the national convention.
But the potential undermining of American democracy is not the real issue here, and I refuse to talk about it ever again. The terrifying crux of the matter is that a man, motivated by anger, threw a chair. I cannot, in good conscience, ignore that reality. In times of extreme danger, our instinct as humans is to retreat and take cover, but if we don’t confront this madness head-on, we’ll be doomed to watch it happen again and again. That’s why I’m asking for your attention for the next couple minutes—we’re at a crossroads in America, and we need to expose the rampaging Sanders mob for what it really is.
Now, you should be aware that apologists from the Sanders camp are already trying to spin the narrative and minimize the horrifying violence, claiming that the video merely shows a man picking up a chair and then, becalmed by his fellow supporters, placing it back on the ground. They will tell us our concerns aren’t legitimate, and they will mansplain the unhinged riots as “justified.”
Nice try, but one look at the mainstream media tells the real story. The New York Times and NPR and a thousand other outlets all reported the second-hand news that chairs were being thrown, and even though none of the many videos taken during the melee—over 20 hours worth—show a single airborne chair, and multiple witnesses have denied that any chairs were thrown, reports like these are an ironclad guarantee that the convention hall was a veritable storm of flying, weaponized seats. It was chaos on a level of the food fight scene from Animal House, but the projectiles were much more dangerous than mashed potatoes—they were deadly missiles made of cushions and metal. It’s a wonder nobody was impaled.
As a human being, I am utterly horrified these images. I have never in my life had to confront violence of this nature, and it confirms everything I’ve ever thought about Bernie Bros, who are little better than raving, mad dogs. Maybe it’s my background—I grew up in a college town (I’m afraid to say where because of the death threats that will surely be lobbed my way by millions of Sanders supporters), with a father who started as an auto industry consultant and become one of the original architects of NAFTA and a mother who was a professor of postmodern upper-class neoliberal feminism at [university redacted because of death threats]. We were good ‘90s Democrats, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I still carry a small oil painting of Alan Greenspan in my wallet. And yes, Bernie Bros, I’m a Hillary Clinton supporter. Deal with it.
Where I grew up, we lived the American dream, and we didn’t deal with this kind of disgusting savagery in our politics. We were civil, we were decent, and all our chairs stayed on the ground. I couldn’t imagine that in two decades, not only would I witness violence on the level seen in the video above, but that it would be happening in my own country. Because that’s the thing: This is a massive humiliation for America on a world scale. How can we be a shining beacon of hope for sons and daughters of rich people in the Middle East, or Asia, or Africa, or South America, when our very own people are hurling chairs at the slightest whim?
And the chairs are just the beginning. Sanders supporters have been engaged for more than a year in the kind of aggressive, bullying tactics that have become the new normal, such as showing up by the thousands at his rallies (where they cheer in a way that I find threatening), staging real-life protests with opinionated signs and chants, and advocating for their candidate on social media. How did we get here? When did we become actual barbarians?
I risk my own personal safety by saying this—and the safety of my two dogs, “William Jefferson” and “Kissinger”—but I am going to be brave for the sake of my country: Bernie Sanders supporters are violent criminal dogs, and they must be stopped.
And Bernie bears a lot of responsibility. Why isn’t he bringing his supporters to heel? I understand that he’s advocating for political revolution, and believe me, I support revolution. But I’m also reasonable—I know that when revolution reaches the point where people are angry and demanding change, it’s gone way too far. It’s up to Bernie to halt the madness, because I don’t think even he understood the hell he was unleashing when he began speaking about radical topics like a fair minimum wage and universal health care. It’s one thing to advocate for poor people, and to assert that the Democratic establishment has abandoned the working class and been complicit in propping up an American oligarchy with a naked power-and-money-grab that has robbed the party of its integrity, but when your supporters actually start to believe it and take real action? That’s when you’ve exceeded your bounds. And you owe it to your country to tell everyone you went too far, that you were just kidding, and that we should accept our lot in life and fall in behind the establishment.
Even if his primary (read: ONLY) issue is the economy, I think Bernie Sanders would agree that we must unite to ensure that the next president isn’t the kind of fundamentally dishonest person who supports free trade and is cozy with Wall Street and is fine spending billions on foreign wars that cost thousands of American lives. That’s Donald Trump, as far as I know. Those sound like his policies. We have to make sure that he’s never elected.
Instead, Bernie has unleashed a pack of raving mad dogs, and they must be either muzzled—if that’s still possible—or put down for good. America functions best when everybody understands his or her position. Would you let a dog run your household? Would you let it hold your money? If a dog started demanding rights, would you consult him on every decision and accept his input? Of course not—you’d hit him with a rolled up newspaper and send him out in the cold. That’s what needs to happen in this country. If Sanders and his supporters won’t unify to defeat Trump (and based on last night’s micro-aggression of winning Oregon, it seems they won’t), and if they continue to ignore the American tradition of selecting the lesser of two evils, then somebody must force reality upon them—by whatever means necessary. And it must happen now, before the dogs gain the kind of power that can translate into a real national movement.
Will no one rid us of these meddlesome beasts?
(Necessary postscript: This is a work of satire, and biographical information mentioned by the author—a Sanders supporter—is pure fiction.)